Well, like you all I have been on enforced sabbatical from the sport we love because of you know what!
Me and a few buddies managed to escape to Argentiere for a few days last week and boy did we need it. Getting through Manchester Airport wasn't the authoritarian arm band fest it usually is. Just smile and carry on, well £36 for two beers and a Burger later, suitably refreshed I boarded my flight. I like flying on my own, it's rare we get to spend time alone in the modern world.
Phone off, laptop off and a great two hour flight with some Sisters from Huddersfield who were hitting the town in Geneva "for a few" for the weekend. I bet that was cheap, enjoy girls!
Got to me mates gaff in Argentiere very late after a long transfer via Alpybus (cheap but my god we drove around the houses dropping off). Staying in Argentiere is always good, only draw back your always last dropped off and first picked up. Two bottles of beer and a surprise 'treat' from Dave, who at 63 and a gruff builder, wouldn't strike you as one who has 'Botched' on his watch list. Never the less he showed me what it was to chase beauty in the modern world. It did take me aback!
Up early, lift pass bought, on the slopes at Le tour. It gets a bad name but I like La Tour. There are some dodgy slope inter sections but it still great. Especially for legs that haven't had planks on for a while. My Volkl V Werks were their usual rock solid partner. We were on piste a lot, no fresh for a few weeks so piste scratching was what we could get but it warmed up later so we could grab a few lines above the Vallorcine chair lift before heading back. Great Day and straight to the Fu Bar for some apres and take away pizza.
This is where the drama came. We were pretty much alone in the bar then BAM, loads of seasonaires arrived, band on, libation flowing, inhibitions absent. Later on this would prove a sore point, as the title suggests.
Ground hog days followed. Up, Ski, Drink, Repeat. The only difference was the visibility, or lack thereof. Karla (Craigdon Perth) summed it up well, "It's was pump, but in a good way." Bad viz skiing Grand Montets beats a great day in the shop any time.
Seemed like a good time to practice some stuff you should practice all the time but when conditions are good its just too tempting to just keep on trucking. So, we took it in turns burying our tranceivers in our packs while the other two circulated back to the debris 'area' from the lifts. No peaking! We searched and probed and had a laugh. Everyone found the buried treasure and it was good to go through the whole thing from skiing to the area , transceiver out, course search, signal picked up, fine search, probe, dig , retrieve, repeat!
No one 'rescue' taking longer than 8 minutes from ski stop to 'victim' visible. I so hope that if my time ever comes we can be that efficient but we all know that come the day of the race things are always a whole lot more real.
A last day bumming around Chamonix with Dave. Such a cool town with all that history. I'll be back, Dave lives here, lucky bleeder!
Alpybus - Geneva - Easyjet - Manchester - Excellent wifey taxi - Home
Lateral Flow Test - Positive - Bugger!
The sore bit. That FuBar night doesn't seem like such a good idea now does it. That's 10 days of isolation at the busiest time of the year. Dave positive too but Richard and Karla clear - go figure. Would still do it all again though - it was sooooo good to be back, look at the smiles on Karla and Richard (Dave never smiles)!
Still at least I have lots of deadlines for next years shiny kit. Every cloud!
Safe riding! G